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Post No Bills

By Harold Bearden
Saturday, August 23, 2014 | 12:08 PM

As recently as this past Wednesday, an Alabama Power lineman demonstrated  why the law against attaching anything to a utility pole is still against the law in Alabama. Before bucket trucks, linemen had to actually climb the poles. This is a skill still required today because there are instances where getting a bucket truck in the right place just isn't possible. 

Obviously, climbing up or down could become a serious safety issue with possible injury from nails or staples or even the signs themselves. This dangerous situation necessitated a ruling from the Alabama Public Service Commission over fifty years ago and still in effect today.  That ruling was made to prevent the attachment of any form of signage to a utility pole (power and phone).


The poles belong to the respective utility companies and are not for public use.  Most of the Winston county politicians do not post on utility poles, knowing that it is against the law. There are ones "who don't know" who continue to nail, screw or staple their signage until it is brought to their attention. Even a yard sale sign is prohibited from being attached to a utility pole. 

The Haleyville City Council has been considering an ordinance based on the one used by Auburn, Alabama. Auburn was picked as a model because it has a national reputation of being a very clean city. This proposed ordinance will be a better version of one which has been on the books for years. It will specifically restrict the placement of all signage in the City of Haleyville, not just political.   

Yard sale signs placed in private yards with permission (if not owned by person placing sign) will be permitted, as is real estate signs, etc., but not allowed on city right of ways. The state already has such a restriction and is violated frequently, most notably at the intersection of Highways 13S and 129. 

What started as a safety issue, the law to not post signage on utility poles, has an additional benefit, helping keep the city of Haleyville cleaner. 

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